Thursday, December 18, 2014

an entertaining armoire and other stuff

 Hi everybody!
Hope you all are enjoying the holiday season!

We are having friends over tomorrow for a casual supper and I thought I would share the transformation of our old armoire that was lugged up to the mountains by the movers. It was used in our Ohio house in the living room/man cave to house the television that my husband watched sports on. 

It would have been nice to use it again in the same way but it did not suit the space next to the rustic hearth so the television is now exposed which is fine because in a cottage with one main living area, compromises have to be made. We decided to convert the armoire to a bar instead. (We have had 3 golden retrievers and have three watercolors. The wall needed color so I placed them two of them  here. They were scattered around our old house.)

It was an easy transformation as the shelves were in the perfect position. I lined them with grasscloth wallpaper.  I covered the big hole on the middle shelf that houses the glasses with a wicker flask. It had been drilled for all the cords. I attached little push stick-on lights for illumination. The wine racks are from Ikea.

I tried a mirror first but the space needed color and life. So I placed an old needlepoint I did many years ago on the back, using a push pin to hang it with. I first put it in our kitchen but moved it here after unpacking some watercolors that suited the small kitchen.

Here is the super simple table setting for tomorrow's dinner, nothing fancy. Did not even iron the linen napkins. I actually love to iron napkins but these look great natural.

The amaryllis I planted a few weeks ago has been gorgey. The narcissus are taking their time. Usually the other way around. 

We are finally feeding the birds.  Fearful of the bears in the warm weather, we had not put put out the feeders although plenty of people up here do. We bring it in at night. So wonderful to see them flitting around. So far, nuthatches, chickadees and tufted titmouses. Not sure if we will keep it up in the summer. After having dogs, several bird feeders, pond fish and frogs in our Ohio house, we are excited to finally be sharing space with living creatures! The feeder hangs off the little side grilling deck.

It has been warm enough for porch living. Amazing in December for us snowbirds! With the vinyl blinds rolled down, it is very warm and toasty. 

We enjoyed a warm winter hike in town a few days ago. Discovered this cool barn

and Lindenwood Lake, part of the Highlands Biological Station and Nature Center.

We were in Atlanta visiting friends last weekend and checked out the Cezanne and the Modern at the High Museum.  It is the collection of Rose and Henry Pearlman. Several pieces of an artist I was not familiar with were included, as well as other artists. We loved the all the work of Chaim Soutine, this one was my favorite...

I love the huge plate installation in the lobby of the High by Molly Hatch. It is gorgeous! She hand painted over 400 plates to create a beautiful mosaic.

She describes it here. 

That's all for now. 

Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah everyone!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Sea Pines Thanksgiving

Hi everybody!

I forgot to post some more of the beauty of our week on Hilton Head after the first two cloudy days. The sun arrived on Wednesday for the rest of the week. It is such a beautiful island and family friendly. A wide beautiful beach, miles and miles of canopied bike trails through beautiful scenery, great bird watching and the occasional alligator and tasteful island architecture, Sea Pines is so lovely.

Our daughter and I biked the trails and walked the beach every day. We found lots of sand dollars this year.  On a beach bike ride, we kept hearing crunching and realized we were riding over sand dollars! Forgot to photograph them though as we were quite focused on the treasure hunt, I think we brought home at least forty of them.

Looking towards Daufuskie Island. I love cloud watching.

A new dock was built at Harbour Town alongside the marina, great for dolphin watching.  We saw several close range but I could not get the right timing for a photo.

We ate a sunny warm lunch at Coast in the new Beach Club, lovely setting.

Poor little blow fish on the beach. 

 Kayaks and paddle boards at Harbour Town.

The beach gets much much wider than this at low tide.

Daughter dolphin watching, rocking the ombre hair.

Birds of a feather flock together.

Daufuskie in the distance. 

Twin oaks across the street from our rental home on the canal.

There were plenty of people on the island over Thanksgiving but once you are in place, you do not feel crowds, especially in Sea Pines. It was calm and quiet. We barely used the car the entire week except to get groceries for Thanksgiving dinner at the excellent grocery Harris Teeter. Love being in Sea Pines.

Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

simple holiday decor

Hi everyone!

 For the first time in many years, we will not be hosting our family's Christmas. Instead we will head north to my mother's home. There is no pressure to decorate so I am enjoying just a few holiday touches in our cottage. A fresh wreath with simple checked bow on our blue front door

and a little live tabletop tree found at Lowe's in Brevard. 

This photo is off center on purpose, see the tv on the left of the hearth behind the lampshade? 
The little tree comes with a reservoir stand attached and is under $20. 

I decorated without lights, just tied ribbons to attach the glass bulbs to the tree. 

 An old nut tree that I made years ago is on the kitchen counter next to the temporary baking station

I need to be better prepared for holiday baking next season. Could only find a few cookie box choices at Michael's in Asheville. Blogger Libby Wilkie recently posted some nice canisters found at The Container Store, will try to find some post-holiday bargains online, if I remember!

A few antlers that our dog Andy found from our woods in Ohio are placed around.

I tucked a few sprigs of evergreen into a pedestal of acorns found in our yard here.

Nightly fires in the hearth, indoor bulbs growing in sunny windows and a nice commercial-free Christmas station on our Sonos sound system  softly playing all day make the season special. I will add greenery to the mantle and perhaps bring out some silver as we get closer to the holiday.

Hope you are enjoying the season no matter what holiday you celebrate or how you like to decorate your home!  I am a less-is-more lady these days.

Thanks for visiting!

mountain sunrises

Hi everyone!
Our favorite wake up activity is checking out the sunrise on sunny days, which there are many of here in the western North Carolina Mountains. There are almost as many sunny days a year in the High Country of North Carolina as there are on the Low County of South Carolina and Georgia. Hard to believe but true. The sun combined with a large amount of rainfall that comes down in buckets (it rarely sprinkles) creates a temperate rainforest that allows all the rhododendron and laurels to flourish.

this morning's sunrise

We are loving sunny winter days as there were so few of them in Northeast Ohio where me moved from. Lake effect weather from Lake Erie makes winters dreary there, of course the temperate summers and warm colorful autumns are wonderful, but the winter is very longggggggggg.  

The mirror on the porch, seen though the French doors of our bedroom, reflects the mountain view and the sunrise as it appears over Whiteside Mountain

Here are a few (iPhone quality) recent sunrises....

A few days ago we were greeted with this beautiful sky!

Every sunrise is beautiful and it is interesting to see the sun's position as it moves through the seasons.

Hope you are enjoying sunrises or sunsets in your neighborhood this winter!

Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

gifts for gardeners 2

Hi everyone!
Here is a second group of etsy gift ideas...

1. Hand sewn tote and tools , may be monogrammed

2. a pack of 30 wood markers

3. an adorable 2015 wall calendar

4. a handmade journal for taking note of successes, failures and garden designs

5. love this test tube vase that is flexible

6. a vintage watering can with a great shape

7. cute raffia tied fruit gift tags

8. holiday cards in a botanical font

9. great linen garden dungarees 

For some more ideas I posted the other day, go here...

Thanks for visiting!